Applying for financial aid for education abroad programs is easy and much like applying for financial aid if you were here on campus. In fact, if the education abroad program is Catholic University affiliated, the process is identical. However, if the program is not Catholic University affiliated, you will not be eligible for your Catholic University scholarships and grants. You may be eligible to receive federal aid for a non-affiliated program, but this is subject to completing a consortium agreement and receiving approval form the CUAbroad Office. Participation in non-affiliated programs must be approved by the Director of Education Abroad.
Whether the program is affiliated or non-affiliated, if you plan on utilizing federal aid for your education abroad, your first step will be to complete the FAFSA. Below is an overview of the process and what aid you may be eligible, depending on the program and term abroad. For more financial information on studying abroad, please visit CUAbroad. There you will find a great deal of information like this side-by-side cost comparison of a semester abroad vs. living on campus at Catholic University.
Please be aware that there are also a number of scholarships available to help students fund their studies abroad. CUAbroad has provided a list of scholarship opportunities for your education abroad. Pell Grant recipients in particular should look into the Gilman International Scholarship.
Recipients of university scholarships must maintain full-time enrollment while studying abroad in order to receive the scholarship. Before making any enrollment changes at the beginning or during a semester, students should contact Student Financial Assistance to speak with a financial aid counselor. Enrollment status may change financial aid eligibility.
Fall, Spring & Academic Year Education Abroad with Affiliated Programs
- Students, who have filed a FAFSA and plan to attend an affiliated education abroad program sponsored by Catholic University during the fall or spring academic year term, may have their financial aid package (both Catholic University funds and federal aid) for that particular semester disbursed for the education abroad program.
- There are no additional steps a student has to take with aid that they already have in place at Catholic University, other than making sure that Enrollment Services will deposit excess funds directly into a student’s personal bank account.
- If an undergraduate student has an unmet cost of attendance that is not covered by any other loans or awards, he or she may have a parent apply for a Parent Plus Loan. Graduate students may apply for a Grad Plus Loan. These types of loans should be processed at least a month prior to leaving Catholic University to allow for sufficient time for funds to be approved and disbursed. Information on Plus Loan applications is on the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) website. Students may call the OSFA if they have questions.
Summer Education Abroad with Affiliated Programs
- Students, who plan to attend an approved education abroad program affiliated with Catholic University during the summer and file a FAFSA, may have already expended their eligible need-based aid during the regular academic year.
- Parents of undergraduate students may apply for Parent Plus Loan to assist with their financing of a summer abroad session.
- The Office of Student Assistance does not administer any university grants or scholarships for the summer term.
- Students planning to study abroad in the summer should apply for loans as soon as possible but no later than at the time of acceptance into the program.
Unaffiliated Education Abroad Programs
- Students, who plan to attend a program that is not affiliated with Catholic University must complete a Consortium Agreement with the Financial Aid Office and the CUAbroad Office. Contact our office for this form.
- Catholic University grants and scholarships may not be disbursed for a study abroad program that is not affiliated with Catholic University. Only eligible federal aid, that the student may have been awarded, can transfer to a school or program covered by a Consortium Agreement.
- Undergraduate students may ask their parent to apply for a Parent Plus Loan and graduate students may apply for a Grad Plus Loan. The application process should begin at least one to two months prior to departure.